16 Market Square (Former Latitude 35 Site) and What Could Happen There

16-22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

16-22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

After the major upheaval on Market Square last December which saw the closings or announcements of closing of Shonos in City, Latitude 35, Steamboat and Orange Leaf, interest has been intense as to what would happen in each space. The former Steamboat is now Agora, two other spaces are rapidly moving toward opening dates, but one has shown no movement and that’s intensified the curiosity: What is happening at the former Latitude 35 site?

All of the answers are not in place, but I can give an update regarding a few decisions which have been made and solicit your thoughts on what might be a good next move. The building is actually several addresses and is pretty complicated. 16 Market Square is the old Latitude 35 space, but the building includes Market Square addresses through 22 Market Square. This larger building currently includes Uncorked and Earth to Old City, as well as ten one-bedroom apartments, an entertainment space featuring meeting areas, a kitchen and three bedrooms, and a roof-top patio.

Upstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Upstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Upstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Upstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Some decisions have been made. Many of you are familiar with the space below 16 Market Square. The stairs go into the basement from the front just inside what used to be Latitude 35. Many of us got our introduction to the basement at World Grotto in what seems like a lifetime ago. The stairs, as it turns out, will be removed. This will give more square footage to the ground-level floor and will allow the two to operate independently.

Plans for the ground-level floor are not firm at this time, though I hope to have more on that in the near future. It is seen as a restaurant space and preparations for that are planned. A 1,500 gallon grease interceptor is included in the plans, along with a downstairs kitchen space in the rear of the basement. A tenant is yet-to-be-named.

Stairwell at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Stairwell at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Downstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Downstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Downstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Downstairs at 16 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Also determined is that an elevator will be installed to connect the basement and the rooftop. The idea is that the two can work together as one event space, perhaps benefiting in some way from the presence of the future restaurant, though that would be determined between business owners. Access to the elevator will be via a corridor between 16 and 18 Market Square. The elevator will also be the primary access for residents in the apartments, removing their need to walk through Uncorked as is the case currently.

With the basement connected to the rooftop via the new elevator, a number of opportunities present themselves. The basement currently includes a bar and will continue to have a stage, while its rear side offers the possibility of a direct entrance via the Strong/Armstrong Alley – or as more people probably know it by now, the Art Alley. That alley is set for a major upgrade and will be more attractive for such a use.

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

Market 211 Event Space, Above 22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

The rooftop includes about 1000 square feet with excellent views. The space is adequate to host somewhere between 100 and 150 people, depending on usage and any build-out that the new business owners might prefer. How it might work with the basement is something the new owner would work through, though there are other businesses (Preservation Pub and Scruffy City Hall) with bars below and roof-top spaces connected by stairs.

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

View from Atop 22 Market Square, Knoxville, June 2013

So, that’s the build-out plan and what is being envisioned. Any of you have ideas of what kind of bar/business would be cool for the two to work together? Jazz/Folk/Singer-songwriter club for downstairs? Speakeasy with alley access? Something totally different. If you have ideas post them in a comment. If you have a specific plan you’d like to discuss for the space, contact Jimmy Buckner (one of the partners) at scarecrownation@gmail.com. He’s also about to have a couple of the one-bedroom apartments available, so you could also contact him about that if you’re interested.

16-22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

16-22 Market Square, Knoxville, October 2015

So, slowly, the different businesses are being replaced and I’m liking what’s happening. While it seemed pretty dark at the time and some folks on social media and comment boards wanted to make like Market Square/Downtown sky was falling, clearly we’re coming out of all of that just fine. Hopefully I’ll have more information on what’s up in the near future.

Comments

  1. Larry Lewis says:

    In terms of a general mixed use approach, perhaps a mini-version of the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. Its website mentions Shops, Restaurants, Prepared Foods, Essentials & Galleries.

  2. I have two recommendations. I doubt Market Square 16 would be the best for either of them, but I hope Knoxville gets something compriable to them in the future.

    Ormsby’s in Atlanta is a unique restaurant. It serves high end comfort food. Most everyone who comes is dressed in their best. However, it is primarily a place to play board games and boche ball. The upstairs is designated more for families and board games. The downstairs is the bar area. And it has a waiting list everyday of the week.

    Dobra Tearoom is the other place I hope we see in the near future. It is a tearoom mainly divided into sections for groups of people to sit on carpeted floor Asian style and drink tea and eat pastries. Many also go there solo to sit and read. They use the bell system for service so that there are no waiters bothering you. It is also a great place to go and play cards with friends or read for hours. They have Dobra Tearooms in both Ashville and Portland, Maine (I’m sure they have them other places as well. Those are just the two I know of).

    While we are on the topic of things Knoxville should get, I hope we get a full entrepreneur center soon. I love the KEC, but we need a space to work together. Austin seems to have tons of entrepreneur warehouses. There are computer rooms, rentable conference rooms, and huge areas where entrepreneurs can come and work alongside other entrepreneurs. The Aliance of Better Non-profits is a great step in the right direction, but it is for non-profits. I heard a rumor of one coming to Jackson Ave. I have not heard of anything since. I hope this happens soon:)

  3. There used to be this place in Cincinnati (Over the Rhine) called Kaldi’s. It had a bar that served both alcohol and really nice coffee drinks. As you walked further in, there was a room (or rooms?) full of used books to buy, just floor to ceiling. They had small, intimate shows and was a nice alternative from the traditional bar scene. Usually quiet — you could hold a nice conversation any time of day.

    I also really wish a nice department store style place would open up downtown again. Back in the glory days of downtown areas you could always find one! Now that downtown areas are having a resurgence — it would be lovely to have one around again. Mast is nice and so is Urban Outfitters but sometimes you need a kettle, pillow, pair of pajamas, lipstick, etc. Whatever it becomes — books, coffee, or shop — it needs to stay open late! I love a lot of the retail downtown but I’m always sad to find Union Avenue books closed by the time we’re strolling around after dinner or coffee.

  4. Perhaps the basement space could be a space for everyone. Many bars have drink specials for each day of the week, perhaps this basement space could try that out with stage usage. Monday Comedy, Tuesday Jazz, Friday Karoke, Saturday Piano Bar. That may not be a good application, but would have a little something for everyone.

  5. Carol Myers says:

    A lovely venue featuring jazz would be ideal.

  6. coffee and books- always good- newspapers too~~~when no one lived downtown, there were at least 4 or 5 NY Times boxes on the streets- now, none. i would like the Red Piano Lounge to give us a downtown location for nightly downtown jazz!

  7. I like the idea of the comedy/burlesque club. Also a nice jazz bar. I think it would be great to have entertainment in the space.

  8. Wine, books, liquor, coffee and ice cream in one place. Also rentable incubator/studio spaces for entrepreneurs, writers and artists.

    • g. mitchell says:

      Love that idea. A small book seller and coffee woul get me there often. That is a “real” place for me and my fam. We don’t need any more watering holes or small shops for TN promo goodies or crafty/jewelry stores. I’d love something of substance that appeals to more of the real population of Knoxville. Good lord, put a 4 level Dept. store down there like larger cities do and make it a real destination place for real families. If for instance a performance is taking place on the square and not all family members care to watch, we have the option of shopping for necessities as opposed to squeezing into those tiny shops with too many people crowded in. Those shops are lovely but we have enough. I love the movies on the square, First Fridays, Farmers markets and other events and would really love to see more year round. I’d love to see that area be a place I think of to go first when I need something not just a gift from Knoxville. I have a feeling the people who live downtown and esp the buyers for the new condos under construction would love a functional place to shop close to where they live.

  9. Victor Agreda says:

    A couple of ideas based on some plans I’d been cooking up:
    – A small variety stage focused on comedy and burlesque
    – A sort of karaoke bar but with themed rooms (common in other parts of the world)
    Seems like given the split arrangement that foot traffic flow could be an issue, but I’ve seen spaces like that succeed.

    • I love your idea for a stage for comedy/burlesque. It would be nice to have a stage dedicated to that purpose rather than being shared with music as is the case at other venues around downtown.

Speak Your Mind

*